• Imitation and finitude: Towards a Jewish theology of making

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Mohr Siebeck, 2015-03-01)
      It has long been taken as a truism that Judaism as a whole is marked by a pervasive “hostility to the image”. The prevailing narrative takes the Second Commandment very much at face value, as a prohibition against the attempt to imitate anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. However, this narrative is based on an incomplete understanding of the textual and artefact record. This paper takes more recent scholarship into account, and attempts to contest this narrative, and to suggest that we can identify a Jewish tradition not just of visuality, but of art, and that, further, we can get there with the help of, rather than in spite of, the biblical text. It engages with a reading of the last third of the book of Exodus, weighing the duelling narratives of Bezalel and the Golden Calf against the theories of art which have risen to prominence in the modern era, attempting to formulate the basis for a Jewish theological aesthetics which affirms and embraces the visual arts.
    • Overcoming Satan in the Acts of the Martyrs

      Middleton, Paul; University of Chester (Mohr Siebeck, 2016-05-01)
      This collection of essays originates from the 2014 Evil in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity conference hosted by the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary's University, Twickenham. Featuring an international collection of senior and junior scholars, it represents the cutting edge of scholarship on portrayals of evil in the Second Temple period and the earliest centuries of Christianity. The individual essays consider the significance of »evil« as it relates to a diverse set of topics, including Qumran and its texts, images of disability in 2 Maccabees, dissociations of Jesus from evil in early Christian manuscripts, the »apocalyptic Paul,« Jesus' exorcisms, Gospel cosmologies, the epistle of James, 4 Ezra, the Ascension of Isaiah, Marcion, John Chrysostom, and the Acts of the Martyrs.